We sang "Macaroni" last week, which included singing solos, galloping on a stick pony, and playing a steady beat bordun on xylophones. You can read about "Macaroni" here. It was the first time for my kindergarten students to play the barred instruments. Therefore, I wanted to continue working on the steady beat bordun this week while continuing to focus on the singing voice, and "Hippity Hop" seemed like the perfect lesson choice.
Following some vocal warm-up activities, I displayed the following PowerPoint visual for the students to read while they learned the song:
GamePlan. (If you do not have this book, I highly recommend it!) They use only "sol" and "mi" for the melody, which is perfectly fine. However, I find that my students naturally add "la" in certain places, and I sometimes I get tired of fighting that battle. I really love the question and answer they added to the poem. The teacher sings, "What's your favorite candy?" and a soloist answers, "I like _____."
In addition to adding "la" to the melody, I also did something different with the question at the end of the song. Since we have done a lot of solo-singing in our classroom microphone, I felt that my students could take over the teacher solo. Instead of me asking the question, I let one student sing the question and another student answer. We turned it into a circle game and added two xylophones to the mix to practice playing the steady beat.
Students sat in a circle, and the student who was "it" walked around carrying a Hershey's Kiss pillow that I happen to already have. The child also held a microphone that is part of our classroom amplification system. He/she skipped around the circle (or hopped) while the class sang and played the beat on their legs. The leader stopped at the end of the song and dropped the Hershey's Kiss into a friend's lap. The first student sang the question, then handed the mic to the seated student who sang the answer. One thing that is helpful for younger students is to pause before the game starts and let children think about what candy they want to sing about when it is their turn. It helps for them to have an answer ready.
I had one first grade class that was more advanced, so I tried a different option. I allowed half the class to move to the barred instruments to accompany the rest of the class while they played the game. They even wanted to rotate through the instruments after each turn. Some classes would not handle that many different activities at once, but they did a beautiful job. After everyone in the circle had a turn, the groups switched jobs.
There was just one problem I had while teaching this lesson. When I was giving an example of how to sing an answer to the question, I had a hard time picking just one favorite candy. I guess a teacher should like Smarties, but Pay Days are always nice!